Foreign, private banks will consider rate cut, says Finance Secretary


New Delhi : Foreign and private sector banks have assured the government that they would seriously consider reducing interest rates for personal and commercial loans.

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“They (heads of foreign and private banks) have assured that they would seriously examine reduction of interest rates,” Finance Secretary Arun Ramanathan told reporters after meeting the representatives of private and foreign banks here on Wednesday.

The bankers, also indicated that liquidity has improved following various steps taken by the Reserve Bank in the last one month.

“They did say, liquidity is better now and liquidity continues to be an item which has to be monitored on regular basis,” the Finance Secretary said.

In addition, he added, the meeting took up issues concerning credit to the industry and financial intermediaries and specific problems relating to private and foreign banks.

Finance Secretary’s meeting, among others, was attended by RBI Deputy Governor V Leeladhar, ICICI Bank Joint Managing Director Chanda Kochhar, J & K Bank chief Haseeb A Drabu, HDFC Bank Managing Director Aditya Puri and representatives of Axis Bank, HSBC, Citigroup and Duetsche Bank.

Other senior officials of the finance ministry were also present at the meeting.

The meeting comes a day after Finance Minister P Chidambaram met heads of PSU banks and got an assurance from Indian Banks Association (IBA) that banks would consider interest rate cut and come up with some decisions on the price at which credit will be delivered to different sectors.